It’s been a long day for me and I’m laying in my bed and feeling a beautiful feeling. It comes only once in a great while and usually doesn’t last that long. It’s a feeling of true inner peace. It’s the most beautiful and serene feeling. There’s simply no inner turmoil. There’s no feeling of that massive void that I usually feel.
Honestly, it doesn’t even feel right. I’m not used to this feeling and it’s only when I’m feeling this way that I realize how badly I was effected from all my childhood trauma and abuse. These feelings don’t last too long. It’s usually a few hours and sometimes even a full day but I just can’t fathom always feeling like this.
It’s so lightweight.
It’s so scenic.
I see light.
I see happiness around me.
I see life, real life. I see the world from a non traumatized mind and it’s so beautiful and pure.
I have headspace for other things.
I don’t mean to be pessimistic but I know it will pass and I’ll be back to my old self but I’m enjoying it while I have it.
I ask you dear friend, is this what you always feel like? Do you actually walk around without this sense of dread and gloom? Can you just simply walk into shul or a dinner or Parlor meeting and not get triggered from it? Can you go to a wedding and not have to scan the hall every few minutes to see if you’re abuser is there? Do you open your eyes in the morning and are not mad that you woke up and have to face another day??
It sounds so foreign. It sounds like a dream. I’m so happy for you that you can live this way, I really am, but at the same time I want you to understand my life.
Were you ever at the scene of a fatal car accident? The fear of who it might be is overwhelming. Is it a friend? Is it a cousin? Or maybe maybe even a family member? Your nerves are on overdrive. You finally find out it’s not a family member but it’s a close friend that you were together with since you were a child.
You are beside yourself with grief. You are shaking from the trauma of seeing the mangled cars. You get home and your wife and kids come to say hi. Your kids are trying to tell you about their new morah and about their projects. Your wife is telling you about a neighbor that just moved in.
However, you are simply not there. You are there in body but not in spirit. You head and heart is elsewhere. You’re not present and you can’t focus on the “silly and mundane” things of regular life such as a morah a neighbor. You feel so much weight on your brain that there’s you simply can’t focus on anything. You actually feel pretty alone and are just watching your family from a distance.
You finally manage to get to bed and you can’t fall asleep for hours. You keep replaying the same scenes in your head. The mangled cars. The light and sirens. The hustling of all the medics. The fear of not knowing who was killed in the crash.
You finally fall asleep only to dream about all the above. You dream all the visions that you’ve seen. You hear all the noise and commotion. You wake up in the morning, sweaty and shaky.
This my dear friend is what us abuse victims live with on a daily basis. You lost a friend in an accident but we lost ourselves. We lost our childhood. We lost our innocence. We lost our trust. We lost out on the tremendously important child and teenage years. These years form your brain and mind into what you will be your entire adult life.
These years were stolen from us usually by someone we trust and love. They showered us with love while stealing our golden years. Young children and teenagers are not supposed to live with such heavy secrets. With such heavy trauma. It’s too much for the young brain to handle.
When they finally get out of the actual abuse, they are left with massive trauma. Flashbacks, triggers, nightmares and a whole lot of other emotional disorders. They last forever and the goal of therapy, meds and rehab is only to learn how to lessen the pain and make it manageable. You can’t undo years I childhood abuse.
I ask you, suppose you meet someone in fifteen years and you tell them the story about your experience with the accident, will you cry? Will you start shaking from it all? Will all the emotions that you experienced back then come to surface? I’m assuming the answer is no. However when I tell over my story to a new doctor or therapist I can easily cry and start shaking from the memories. That’s the power that childhood trauma has on a child’s mind. I’ve seen people cry over their childhood trauma fifty years later.
I’m not trying to sound bitter. I’m really not. I’m actually feeling good now and am enjoying every minute of it while it lasts. I just want you to understand who we are and what planet we are from. So next time you see someone dressed not like you, at the lake or in a park somewhere, please know that they are hurting badly. They are desperately looking for a way to help themselves out of the pain that constantly plagues them.
If you don’t see me in shul all week and only sometimes on Shabbos, it’s only because shul is too much of a trigger for me and I don’t have the strength to endure it. I’d rather save my strength to get through the day. If you see me perhaps even driving on Shabbos, it’s because I’m feeling so low that I need to drive to a support group simply to stay alive and not end my life.
In closing I’d like to say that in this dark and painful world we are all alone and have very little support but I believe that the day will come when all the truth will come out and it is on that beautiful day that our beloved and caring Father will stretch out his arms and take us all in with so much love. I personally will be crying and in disbelief that I’m actually getting validation and care from Hashem.
Me? The one who doesn’t fully keep all the laws of yiddeshkeit will be loved by Hashem? How can that be?? How can I be loved more than people who sat and learned their whole life? How can God care about me if I don’t daven in shul? Why should Hashem love me?
But being that Hashem is our dear Father and knows all the secrets and traumas of my soul, He knows that I meant good and was only in tremendous pain. It is on that beautiful day that me and the other abuse victims will finally be able to live a life of joy and light. A life of constant and pure inner peace without the daily struggle and battle to get through the day. Shabbos will be enjoyable again. Yom Tov will be enjoyable again. Family will be enjoyable again.
Oh how I yearn for that day and I can only hope that it will come soon!